June 23rd, 2010
06:56 PM ET
12 years ago

Rubio slams WH, Crist over oil spill

Washington (CNN) – Florida Republican Senate hopeful Marco Rubio slammed the Obama administration Wednesday for its response to the Gulf oil spill. And Rubio did not miss the opportunity to criticize his opponent Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for not doing more to get the resources Florida needs to defend against the spill's onslaught.

"I think the federal government took its time responding to this early on," Rubio said of the spill in an interview that aired on CNN's The Situation Room. "I think that they weren't quick enough. I think that the bureaucracy continues to be in place."

"[W]e are the most powerful country in the world," Rubio told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Every oil skimmer on the planet should be in the Gulf of Mexico by now. And they're not."

Rubio added that it is "tragic" to see what Florida is facing "because of the lack of response from the federal government" as more oil has come ashore in Pensacola even today.

Rubio is set to face off in a three-way Senate race this November against Gov. Crist and the eventual Democratic nominee. When GOP primary polling earlier this year showed Crist lagging behind Rubio, the Florida governor made the decision to forgo the GOP primary race and effectively concede the Republican nod to Rubio. Instead, Crist is running an independent Senate bid as a non-party affiliated candidate.

As he explains how Florida is responding to the spill, Crist has had the opportunity to spend plenty of time with the media – something that Rubio sought to highlight Wednesday. And, echoing a frequent GOP refrain that portrays Crist as too friendly with President Obama, Rubio also told Blitzer that he thought the Florida governor has not put enough pressure on the Obama administration to get Florida's the spill response resources it needs.

"[H]e's doing a great job of getting, you know, press releases and press conferences and video time. And that's part of the job of being governor," Rubio said of Crist. "But the other part is to get results. And right now we're not getting results from the Obama administration.

"And I don't think the governor has pressed the Obama administration enough. I think recently he said that he thought the Obama administration was doing a very good job. That they have finally caught up. They haven't. And today is evidence that they haven't caught up."

Although Rubio said he blamed BP for the Gulf oil spill and said the embattled energy giant "cut corners and it led to this accident," the Senate hopeful also said he supports increased domestic production of oil and gas if it can be done safely.

"The bottom line is that I am for safe exploration of domestic resources," Rubio told Blitzer. "We need that in order to be energy independent and safe. But it has got to be done safely. And that's why it's so important to find out why this happened so it never happens again."

And Rubio took a dig at Crist for calling the Gulf oil spill "a wake-up call ... to go more green and clean" in terms of energy sources.

"Well, what car runs on wind power? What car runs on solar power that's cost-effective? And there is no cars that I know that run on nuclear power," Rubio said, reacting to Crist's earlier remarks. "What we're talking about here is transportation energy. And right now the only cost-effective way to fuel vehicles for driving, for airplanes, et cetera, is petroleum-based products.

"We should change that. We should invest in technologies. We should invest the time to become a leader in alternatives, whether it's fuel cells or electric cars. But that's not going to happen from today to next week or next month or next year."

Filed under: 2010 • Energy • Florida • Marco Rubio • The Situation Room
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Bill P

    And just what is Rubio doing to assist the clean up?
    More hot air from a do nothing Republican!

    June 23, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Rubio, Dick Armey's cabana boy, wants limited or little government, yet is critical of government's response. No wonder the tea bagger's picked him. Someone should try to explain to him that limited government would never be able to fight in two wars and still deal with cleaning up the republican Bush fiasco.

    June 23, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. Larry

    The Republicans are such desperate people.

    You're a moron Rubio. The answer to this spill is easy...

    Get a wet suit on, swim down and plug the hole.

    Do I have to tell you everything?

    June 23, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Elisabetta

    It takes a lot of guts to make this comments on the part of extremists like Rubio and his Tea Party's "gentlemen"...but it takes even more to vote for them!

    June 23, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. Naqib

    Don't like Rubio... but can't argue with that...

    The Gov response has been simply pathetic...
    Still is...

    60 Days... and we seemed more worried that a Gen said something bad about me in the Rolling Stone...

    June 23, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. thor

    I don't know how anyone with a straight face can defend this administration's response to the oil catastrophie in the Gulf. Now i hear they are trying to stop the berms from being built that they approved not too long ago. You can't make this suff up. They still have said if the EPA is going to set up a fund to pay the claims of people who have medical claims because they allowed the use of toxic dispersants in the sea water.

    June 23, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Funny isn't it, how Rubio and the other GOPers complain, BUT they do not offer solutions!

    Originally, the president was lied to by BP. BP told the WH that it was easy to clean up.

    STOP blaming Obama, even though I know you can't help yourself..... this IS BP's DISASTER!

    June 23, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. w l jones

    Every oil skimmer in the world should be in the gulf including one own hand. Enough said.

    June 23, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. tom7001

    Rubio, you been saying less govermet control, now crying for governmet action? Your drill,baby,drill" since getting the most oil dollars of any politician in Florida! Are you going to kiss BP's butt?

    June 23, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Every oil skimmer on the planet? Are you suggesting the Federal government commandeer equipment from private enterprise to take care of the oil spill. Why that sounds downright like FASCISM to me Ruby.

    June 23, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Dennis

    Why blame the WH. Is this the same man who says hands off private industry, let the industry regulate themselves, give the industry tax breaks, but oh by the way, when they demonstrate gross neglect and incompetence whine for the Government and taxpayer to bail them out. Can't have it both ways!!!!! If you want the Government to act, then I say, nationalize all the oil companies and dump the high priced, do nothing, know nothing executives.

    June 23, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Donnatella

    I don't see why anybody would vote for this cuban, he will say anything to get elected, I can't stand him, I have friends that live in Florida, they are not voting for him either, they call him a sellout.

    June 23, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Riley

    It's going to be so nice when Rubio walks onto the US Senate floor and takes charge. He is just the kind of the person we need in DC.

    June 23, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. Pragmatic

    "Rubio did not miss the opportunity to criticize his opponent Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for not doing more to get the resources Florida needs to defend against the spill's onslaught....."

    Rubio is moaning about the lack of the federal government response when he, and the conservative GOP threw Crist out for (gasp!) the sin of being polite to the President when Obama came to Florida ....and taking the stimulus money!

    Rubio's just annoyed because the Governor (Crist) is working on the oil spill crises while Rubio is still fending off the IRS investigation!

    June 23, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. Peter E

    Clearly this boy really doesn't understand how government works and what politicians are capable of in face of various local politics and deregulated private business. Everyone thinks the federal government can wave a magic wand and suddenly solve all problems... Except when it's more convenient politically to just blame them for getting in the way. Rubio is changing his rhetoric every week. How predictable.

    June 23, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. maf

    "And there is no cars", not only does he start a sentence with the word "and", his use of "is" is incorrect. "And" he wants to be elected as a Senator????

    Keep talking up the blah, blah, blah Republicans. You will no longer have a party to be affiliated with!!

    HA HA HA!

    June 23, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. ed fl

    A clip from Rubio about running on hot air is something he should know something about. He seems to have an abundance of it. The Florida residents are more interested in how much money that Rubio used from the GOP Piggy Bank for questionable expenses illegally. also a foreclosure that he and a companion tried to cover up and where did he get the money to cover that episode . This guy is a typical Miami Dade politician that seem to bend or dodge every legitimate questionsabout personal money and where it comes from. He CAN NOT GET ANY VOTES outside of the Miami area. people in other areas of Florida ask to many questions that he will not answer.

    June 23, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    This is a "No Win" for the Federal Government with Rubio. Had the government reacted sooner they would have been over reacting without first taking stock of the situation. By reacting when they did the government has been dragging it's feet and allowed the situation to get out of hand.

    Rubio, like others is making this a political issue when it should be all about the states down there fighting now to save as much of their coast line as possible but this "Turkey" is busy trying to make points from it. He's just another greedy politician.

    June 23, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Rubio can slam Crist all he wants to but he still hasn't answered the question about oil drilling. Crist has always been up front on his opinion but Rubio thinks he can straddle the fence into the Senate. Rubio isn't trusthworthy and Demos should stand behind Crist.

    June 23, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. Aaron

    And I suppose that he failed to mention that he is one of Palin's half-witted "Drill Baby, Drill" crowd. Hypocrite. If he had a quarter of Crist's integrity, he'd be doing good.

    June 23, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |

    Mr. Rubio, just remember that it was the Republicans in charge that lifted the necessary "oversights" which led to this terrible accident!

    June 23, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    Jindal sees only to the tip of his nose – today, this week.

    Those barriers will be washed away with the first of many big storms this summer. Loose sand or dirt will NOT hold – tides will take their toll.

    Think months or years, Jindal. This won't be the last oil spill. Money from the taxpayers doesn't grow on trees for the hurricane-riddled states to keep building their "houses on sand", and re-building again and again and again and again........

    Rubio is an IDIOT TOO. Wait til the oil hits Cuba – where his relatives live.

    June 23, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  23. tom7001

    Well he's in big oils pocket, having received the most big oil money than any other Florida politician!"drill, baby, drill" for the bucks!

    June 23, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |